An international class-action suit stemming from the deaths of thousands of dogs in Asian countries, including Taiwan, was filed against Pedigree, a US maker of dog food, in US Federal Court in early May, the Care for Animals and Protect the Earth Organization (
Shen Jung-chen (沈蓉震), founder of the association, said that a correlation between certain questionable batches of Pedigree dog food manufactured in Thailand and numerous cases of kidney failure among dogs in Taiwan early this year had been indirectly confirmed.
At a press conference, Shen said that component analysis of questionable Pedigree dog food done by experts for the Council of Agriculture in March showed that certain toxic chemicals existed.
PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES
"From the governmental report, we see not only toxins but also heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and others," Shen said.
Shen said that US-based Mars, which sells numerous pet food products including Pedigree, had failed to control the quality of its products manufactured in Thailand. Questionable Pedigree products processed from raw materials that were already moldy and unhealthy were sold in several Asian countries, including Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore and Taiwan, causing kidney failure in dogs, he said.
In Taiwan, it is estimated that at least 100,000 dogs were affected. As of Tuesday, the council's records showed that the number of dog owners receiving compensation from Effem Foods Taiwan (
lack of sympathy
Several dog owners who are refusing compensation from Effem said at the press conference that the lives of their lost pets, which they regarded as family members, can not be assigned a monetary value. They said that the lawsuit is meant to expose the pet food supplier's lack of sympathy.
"The representatives from Effem showed us no sympathy," he said.
They even set an upper limit on the compensation and were reluctant to apologize for the incident," said Liou Yu-feng (劉玉峰), who lost two dogs that ate Pedigree dry food.
Liou, a journalist working for the Liberty Times [the Taipei Times' sister newspaper], said that he and his wife had suffered from insomnia since their nine-year-old dog Du Du died in January.
too much water
Liou said the council did not investigate the dog's death until March, delaying the delivery of warnings about the questionable pet food.
Liou's other dog, Happy -- a 12-year-old weighing 28kg and capable of jumping 2.2m in the air when healthy -- died of kidney failure in April.
Yang Ru-chien (楊儒乾) yesterday showed the media his 14kg pet dog, Hsiao Hay -- recovering from kidney failure -- saying that he had stopped feeding the dog Pedigree when it began drinking abnormal amounts of water.
Hsiao Hay's health began to improve with treatment.
According to the dog owners' legal advisor, Paul Maas Risenhoover, victims from Asian countries plan to demand compensation of US$20 billion.
Risenhoover aims to demand at least US$100,000 for each wrongful dog death.
Council officials said that the government would assist those seeking compensation by helping to secure their dogs' medical records.
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
Taiwanese worked more hours than people in all but three other countries in the world last year, Ministry of Labor data showed. Singapore placed first in average hours worked among the 40 economies surveyed, with an average of 2,288 hours per worker last year, the data showed. The city-state was followed by Colombia with 2,172 hours — based on 2019 data — and Mexico with 2,124 hours, it showed. Taiwan came in fourth, with 2,021 hours, it showed. South Korean workers clocked the third-most hours in Asia, with 1,908 hours, followed by Japan with 1,598 hours, it showed. However, compared with 2019, the survey found
The US 7th Fleet yesterday confirmed that a US Navy ship transited the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and Friday. “The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey [DDG 105] conducted a Taiwan Strait transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy [RCN] Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Winnipeg, October 14-15, 2021,” the US 7th Fleet said in a statement. “Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region,” it added. The transit marked the
‘COUNTERPRODUCTIVE’: The German, French and Singaporean missions said that Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions are hindering local projects and business operations Several foreign missions in Taiwan have urged the government to ease its strict COVID-19 border controls, which they say are hurting in-person exchanges and business operations. The missions made the appeal in response to media inquiries on how the border controls have affected their respective countries’ exchanges with Taiwan, amid growing concerns voiced privately by Taiwan-based foreign offices and businesses regarding the restrictions. Taiwan has maintained strict entry requirements since March last year, generally prohibiting most arrivals except for citizens and foreign residents, while it has required those who enter the country to undergo a stringent 14-day quarantine. Although the rules have been